Students in the Environmental Health course will work to design and implement new and existing methodologies for safe repurposing of unwanted or illegally dumped tires. Tires removed from dumping sites will first be repurposed for use in the Mercyhurst Northeast Campus greenhouse. Students will create planters for trees, shrubs and other produce by removing tire sidewalls, stacking the products and filling them with soil. Additionally, tires will be shredded to create rubber mulch which can be used as an alternative to landscaping mulch. The resulting product will be distributed throughout the university in landscaping beds on both the Main and Northeast campuses. Finally, students will work as a team to develop their own strategy for repurposing or recycling tires and present it to the class. The most innovative idea will be presented as a part of the culminating community capstone event.
D. Community Capstone Event
The culmination of classroom activities, social media campaign, and tire repurposing project will be a community capstone event held on the Mercyhurst University Main Campus. The event will be free and open to the public and timed to coincide with the City of Erie’s annual Tire and Electronics Recycling day which is held in the beginning of May. Students and volunteers will be on hand to accept unwanted tires and provide demonstrations of tire repurposing methods. Additionally, individuals from the community will be able to obtain samples of both the garden planters and rubber mulch produced from the collected tires.
Goals and Objectives
Goal 1. Improve student knowledge about environmental problem solving strategies and increase their ability to utilize the scientific method to collect, a...
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...den planter or rubber mulch. Evaluation will continue into the next school year through follow-up directed at determining the long-term impacts of the project.
Sustaining the Project
The Reboot Rubber project will be sustained into the future as part of cooperative efforts to address the problem of illegally dumped tires in Erie Pennsylvania. This curriculum can be easily adapted to fit alterations in the need or relative burden faced in the community. Going forward, the community-based portions of the project will seek on-going financial and logistical support from the City of Erie, Millcreek Township and Erie County Sustainability coordinators as well as the proposed new Keep Erie Beautiful chapter. We will also actively share the curriculum with other colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania, including providing access to curriculum materials on-line.
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